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You Can Handle Them All

Behaviors Related To Affiliation

Developing, maintaining, and strengthening associations with others is a strong human need. Some children have a very strong need to be close to each other, but often they also have an intense desire to be close to the parent. They need someone in whom they can confide and trust. It makes them feel very secure and special, and they’ll do anything to have such an affiliation—with parents, with other children or siblings, and in school activities, if these things are available. Or, sometimes children who have no other options and a strong need to affiliate with someone will go looking in the wrong places. This is how young people can end up in gangs or with other people you as the parent would just as soon your child didn’t associate with. We must be aware of the normal drive to ward off loneliness and find a “special person” that every child has. But looking in the wrong places for someone to feel close to is usually a cry of “I need an adult friend.”

Other Behaviors (with a paid membership)